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Lawsuit!: Reducing the Risk of Product Liability for Manufacturers by Randall L. Goodden

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4

New Product Introduction: More Effective Design Reviews

The design review is the most important first step in a product's lifecycle. It is the ideal and least expensive time to recognize and propose changes or improvements to the conceptual design. Still, many management teams will conduct inadequate reviews, if any review at all, either because they feel they already know enough to preclude holding any design analysis, or because they feel there is not enough time because of their hectic schedules. Problems discovered during manufacturing, and especially after the product has been released to the field, are typically going to be very costly to correct and can be loaded with many other complications. “We never have the time to do it right, but we always find the time to do it over.”

The legal community fully expects a manufacturer to hold a thorough design review on a new product at its conception, as much as they would expect the manufacturer to follow known industry standards and state-of-the-art techniques in the design and engineering of the product. The design review is an industry standard for manufacturing. In a product liability lawsuit, attorneys for the plaintiff will be interested in determining whether the manufacturer appears to have been a concerned and caring company and took the time necessary to assure the product they developed was safe and reliable, or whether the manufacturer in question was more interested in rushing a product to the market and making a profit. ...

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